Tuesday, November 08, 2011


I`m getting a bit worried about next year`s Olympics in London.  For all the satisfaction the nation may have felt at being `awarded` the Games and for all the pride that might be felt about the development of the Olympic Park in east London, there are some things around the edges of this event that are becoming annoying.

Now it`s normally just the little things that cause annoyance and they`re here in abundance.   The logo for a start - there it is shown above and although some visual dexterity makes it possible to make out 2012, I for one could have done with something a bit more straight forward, more graphically representative, less hard edged.   Then there was and still is the fiasco over the tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the events themselves, the felonies having been compounded by the news that something like £750,000 of British taxpayers` money has been spent by the powers that be in hoovering up 9,000 tickets so they can be handed out for free to a collection of politicians, `dignitaries,` foreign `guests` and assorted hangers on.   And we won`t be told who they are until after the Games have finished!

It`s always the same - those in privileged positions who can quite easily afford to buy their own tickets, travel, accommodation and hospitality get it all for free on the back of those who have no chance of getting tickets even if they could afford them.

Just recently we`ve had the unedifying spectacle of the Olympic posters being unveiled.   They rival the logo in their pretention, their artlessness and their crassness all in a vain attempt to appear `arty,` `trendy,` `challenging` - none of which is surprising when you see that the equine Tracey Emin is among the `artists` commissioned to produce this embarrassing drivel.   Where`s a seven year old when you need one?

The route of the Olympic flame has been revealed with much ceremony to lull us into believing that a journey to a nearby roadside to watch a flame on a stick being staggered along by some panting runner is the true symbol of the inclusiveness of the London Olympics for the whole of the country.   Sorry, forgive me if I don`t bother with that one.

But for all those gripes about things around the periphery of the main event, I suspect my biggest complaint, apart from the exhorbitant cost of it all, is likely to be the Games themselves.   The whole event has just got too big with competitions in obscure sports and the unavoidable doubt in my mind about what I might actually be watching. 

Cricket has been outrageously tainted lately with betting scams to the extent that it might in future be difficult to determine, with any certainty, the validity of the spectacle.   In much the same way, I have long wondered whether Olympic sports are competitions between athletes or chemists and so I wish the whole thing would go back to basics, to the days long ago when the Olympic Games were just about running jumping and throwing things.   They won`t, of course, there`s too much money involved, too many egos to massage, too much corporateness, pomp and circumstance, all of which takes away so much from what used to be innocently enjoyable.   Fings really ain`t what they used to be.  Perhaps they never were.

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